The alluring beauty that nature offers often is captivated by the lens of many photographers. That's usually how all of us get a view of the serene and breathtaking views of nature and wildlife. Not many of us think of giving back to nature though; instead, and in many cases, we are guilty of harming it rather than preserving it.
Few special people, however, like Keltie and Stan Masters, co-founders of “Back to Nature Apparel” not only love nature but have also dedicated their lives and careers to passionately preserving nature and its wildlife for future generations.
“Sadly, more and more people are needing some of nature's therapy so we hope to be able to offer a bit of that by bringing it into their homes, so they too can be surrounded by its beauty and therapeutic benefits.” states Keltie passionately.
What started as a gift trip for their anniversary turned into their biggest life changing event. This dynamic-duo husband and wife are passionate wildlife explorers, and when Stan decided to surprise Keltie with an anniversary nature exploration trip to Churchill-Manitoba to watch the majestic Canadian polar bear in its natural habitat in 2013, and then there was no stopping them, and their new lifelong mission of giving back to nature was born.
Their passion for exploring nature continued, and so did their wildlife photography. As much as the Masters enjoyed the wildlife beauty and polar bears in their natural habitat, they were extremely saddened to learn that these magnificent creatures are starving because of the changing environment. That is when they pledged to make giving back to nature through their camera’s lens their full-time business. The genesis of the business was not to earn a fortune, rather to donate a significant portion of the revenues to wildlife rehab organizations to help preserve wildlife.
“We realized that every little bit helps, and we thought we need to do something to help make a difference.” As Stan puts it succinctly.
They say, ‘when you invest in nature, nature returns even more’. This is what happened to this dynamic-due.
Soon enough, they were approached by organizations to do wildlife photography for them. When they launched their own apparel line imprinted with awe-inspiring pictures of wildlife, it became an instant success. Customers felt connected to nature and wildlife, through the “Unique Wearable Works of Art” which are stunning and therapeutic at the same time.
When COVID-19 slumped the economy and wholesalers cancelled orders, this resilient couple opened their own Shopify e-commerce store to sell their gorgeous apparel. When customers started requesting face masks imprinted with the beautiful photos, they obliged, despite their initial skepticism. To their surprise, the wildlife imprinted masks become hostellers in no time.
True to their mission, their significant business success, was paralleled with a significant increase in their donations to wildlife rehab centers. They even started a fundraiser for wildlife with their hot-selling masks, and their sales exploded. Their goal is to reach $10,000 per year in donations to wildlife rehab centers, and with the universe by their side, surely they can achieve this goal soon enough.
The Masters are always looking for more organizations to help raise money for through their various nature inspired fundraisers, therefore, if you know of such an organization that could benefit from their help, please contact them. Mother nature will thank you dearly for it.
The Back to Nature Apparel line sells various “Unique Wearable Works of Art” such as leggings, kimono robes, scarves, handbags, accessories, and wall décors. All imprinted with stunning wildlife photos taken by the Masters’ cameras.
Their advice to budding businesses: “When business grows large enough, hire outside help. Don't do everything yourself, because you'll just burn yourself out. If you can't afford it, look for options to help supplement those expenses. There is lending options, grants, etc.”
Our intense fast-pacing way of life today is affecting our mental health. Heightened levels of stress and numerous life challenges are causing immense mental strains on people. To make matters worse, when the pandemic hit the world, it exacerbated the problems on so many levels. Enters “All Thrive.”
"All Thrive develops the strength within people to take on life's toughest challenges, solidify the relationships that make them better, and gives them a purpose to live full out." As described best by Leah Fink herself, founder and president of this new life changing venture.
The genesis of the business began many years ago when Leah started taking self-development courses at the tender age of 14, to learn life skills, grow mentally, and be more confident in life. These courses had a life changing effect on her that she decided to help other people enjoy the same benefits, and All Thrive was born.
All Thrive is a platform for developing and enhancing the strength and courage of people to face the roughest patches of life with heads held high. The workshops help people find their purpose and live their life to the fullest. They are designed to suit all age groups.
Leah also caters to different needs for different situations. For instance, as COVID-19 had some adverse effects on the relationship dynamics of teenage daughters and their mothers, her latest workshop series have been designed specifically for this segment of society.
"Right now, I'm working with teen girls and their moms. So that they can both raise their awareness of who they are and who they are together in their relationship". These workshops help strengthen the relations between mothers and daughters in the present times and far into the future.
Other custom-made workshops developed are In-School workshops for youth. These are designed to help the youth gain clarity about the path they should follow in their future and give them the skills to have healthy relationships with their families and peers.
Leah also runs full day workshops that focus on themes like empathetic communication, personality types, and power dynamics. With the stringent in-person interaction restrictions, these workshops are being conducted virtually. Nevertheless, she plans to move many of the workshops outdoors in the future. Starting with a week of programming at the Naramata Centre this July.
In addition to the usual focus on personal development and mental wellbeing of people, All Thrive workshops are ahead of the curve as they also focus on creating practical and relevant experiences applicable to people’s lives. Leah is able to bring a variety of modalities to support her work, such as True Colors personality typology and Right Use of Power (understanding of the impact of power dynamics), to provide a well rounded and unique approach.
Leah demonstrated her dynamic energy and positive outlook for the future by expressing her excitement and optimism for a future without COVID-19. She sees that people are aware of their mental issues and more vocal about it than ever before; people are actively seeking help to maintain good mental health.